(Closed) Picking out own engagement ring without ruining proposal

posted 9 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
4231 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I went with my fiance to look at rings a bunch of times. We wrote down the model # of the one we most liked, and he put it away. I had no idea when he bought it, if he bought it, if he bought that one.. anything. Years later, he did propose with that one. It’s still a surprise because you don’t know for sure what, of or when he got anything, or when and how he’ll ask you. 


He sounds like he’s nervous about the proposal more so. Don’t put any pressure on him telling him how you want it to be, and reassure him that he can do it how he wants, when he’s ready. Kind of “here’s a ring I like, take that information and do with it what you please”. Leave the ball in his court. 

Post # 4
770 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Franklin Plaza

@ash2013:  My fiance and I went ring shopping together (because he had no idea what I wanted and neither did I -I never wear any jewelry).  He was nervous because he knew I’d be wearing the ring forever and wanted to make sure I liked it.  So we went together and looked at some rings, but I think that the key thing for me was that we didn’t decide on anything right then and there.  I tried on rings and pointed out what I did and didn’t like to help my fiance get the general idea.  It wasn’t like we picked out a ring and he bought something that day.  However (I didn’t know this part) he went back the very next day, picked out a ring, and proposed within a week.  Even though we went ring shopping together I had no idea when he was going to buy a ring or propose and I was completely suprised.  It didn’t ruin it at all.  It made everything even more perfect because he wasn’t as nervous about me liking the ring.  


So my advice is suggest that you and your boyfriend browse ring shops together.  You can do what we did and make a date of it, we had a lot of fun.  We went to our local mall hit up a few shops and had lunch at the food court.  🙂  Point out to your fiance that you won’t actually be picking out a ring, just giving him a better idea of what you like.  That way you won’t know what ring he’s getting or when he’s getting it.


Also as far as proposing goes you made the point of their being anticipation, etc.  You won’t loose that excitement after you ring shopping.  🙂


I hope this helps at least a little.  And if not and he doesn’t want to go together you can always browse online and send him ‘hints’.  

Post # 5
2223 posts
Buzzing bee

With that logic he can never propose because simply indicating/communicating to you that he wants to propose one day has put it in your head that a proposal is coming one day thus ruining the surprise and invalidating the proposal. By that logic he can never propose and you can never get married.

See how silly that is? 

Just because you buy a ring doesn’t mean the other person knows when you’ll give it to them and how you’ll propose. And who the fuck cares if knowing makes you excited and expectant? What? We’re just supposed to stop buying people gifts for special occassions because “they know it’s coming so why try?” It’s about the gesture, not some covert operation, and (mind blown) he can learn about your tastes without taking you with him if he’s concerned about revealing the final design too soon. 

I get that he’s nervous but his line of thinking is a little silly.

P.S. I’m feeling a little bitchy today. Please don’t take this as me yelling at you, if it comes across that way. I’m just having trouble with my tone. 🙂

Post # 6
4539 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I went with my now Fiance to pick out my ring. We both agreed it was too large of a purchase to leave to chance (as in, me maybe not loving it). We went to several stores and I kept coming back to one setting. So we proceeded to pick out the diamond and they told him they could keep everything on hold for a week. He went back the following Monday and bought it. I didn’t bring it back up but he slipped up one day when he mentioned his credit card limit (we were shopping for a party and this is the card he used to buy the ring and he wasn’t sure if his limit was reached etc). Well he came up with this elaborate story about how the setting was messed up and how they couldn’t sell the diamond, so we needed to go shopping again. He kept up this little story for so long that I believed it and was seriously pissed. Well, a couple months later he proposed and I was so surprised that I literally said, “Are you serious?! You tricked me!” Then, “yes” of course.

Point of the story, you can pick out the exact ring with him, know that he bought it, and it can still end up being a surprise.

Also, would you be upset if the proposal wasn’t some big to-do? My Fiance proposed to me while I was sitting on the bed putting on my make-up and I don’t love it any less than if he did some big set-up.

Post # 7
19 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I can’t think of any way you can get through to him, because it sounds like making the proposal a complete surprise is a very big deal to your future husband.

The only solution I can think of that makes both you and your future husband happy, both by letting him surprise you in the way he thinks he needs and that lets you get the ring you really want, is for you to ask him not to buy a ring at all and instead, take a “making it official” shopping trip with you right the big surprise.

Of course, this depends on whether you think not having a ring might also ruin your marriage proposal!

Post # 8
1677 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I just wanted to say that I (we) picked out my ring and it didnt make it any less special. It actually made it more special because I knew the ring we picked something that had meaning to me and something that I knew I would love. I wasnt worrying about getting a ring a salesperson said I “should have,” I was getting what we wanted.

Post # 9
6317 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@ash2013:  You could try and give him a dose of reality… tell him that you’d hate for him to spend a significant amount of money on something you’ll dislike.

I personally don’t understand the massive focus on the proposal. The proposal lasts an evening at the most, while you wear the ring for your entire marriage and possibly pass it down to your kids!

If you’re not set on something super specific, let him know your general tastes now. Put in it an email so he can refer back to it. Like what shape of diamond or other stone you want, what 4C parameters to stick to (or at least what’s most important), rough idea of size, whether you want a halo or not, yadda yadda. Send him some pictures and be done with it. That way he can take as long as he wants to decide.

I don’t really understand his logic either… or why a proposal needs to be a complete surprise, for that matter. You’ve discussed getting engaged, so a proposal shouldn’t be a total surprise or something is wrong w. communication in your relationship IMO. He is way overthinking this.

Post # 10
7384 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

We picked out my ring together. We spent 9 months shopping in store and online to find something that we both liked. When I finally found it, I had no idea how close he was to proposing, but I said, “This is the one, now it’s up to you.” He ordered the ring a month or so later and then proposed when it came in. 

It sounds like he’s just stalling to me. I had no idea my Fiance had ordered the ring at all after I found The One.

Post # 11
1286 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Can you ask him if he would want to do a proposal first without the ring and then go ring shopping to buy it on the spot?  That way, he can totally surprise you with the proposal with no pressure as to the ring beforehand.

Post # 12
4090 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@ash2013:  “But, when I tell him this he says what is the point of proposing then because then I would know he has the ring he said he’d just hand it to me after paying for it.

You tell your BF that you would like a proposal!  You tell him that it is important to you.  A good guy will see that and hopefully fulfill your request!  If he doesn’t think it’s important, tell him it is to YOU.  That should be sufficient.


I was married before and I did not get that.  I mentioned to my now H that I really would like a proposal and a ring (having neither the first time).  He happily obliged.  We talked about price ranges, luckily we both had lower budgets in mind.  He asked a few questions about what I envisioned in a proposal as he had ideas in his head and needed confirmation.  I also showed him the EXACT link of the ring I wanted and my size (we did not look at rings in person).  I never saw the ring in person, but I did my own ring research.


Between buying it, waiting for it to arrive, me finishing my grad classes, waiting for the right time (out doing something; not sitting on the couch) – it took a few weeks for it to happen. 


And you know what?  He did an awesome!  Out of the world good (very fitting for us).  Was it a surprise?  Yes it was! One may wonder how it can be a surprise when you picked out the ring, knew the season you were planning on getting engaged – but it was still a surprise believe it or not.

[note: we planned on gettting engaged in Spring 2011 and that was the plan for an entire year, so that was not a surprise, the method by which he asked me “will you marry me?” was a surprise.  i agree getting asked to marry someone without any PRE talk would be not my cup of tea.]


It happened on a mountain ridge while we were backcountry skiing.  I can even see that peak from our kitchen window and any spot in the valley.  Now that was good.

Post # 13
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I sent my Fiance pictures of rings I like and together we narrowed down to one’s we both liked then he went out on his own and got one and I didn’t know the when of it or what the final choice would look like. Maybe you two can reach a compromise like that?


Post # 14
911 posts
Busy bee

@ash2013:  If you’re both up for a compromise, may I suggest this:  Look either online or at jewelry stores, whichever suits you guys (or both).  Look at rings together, tell him what you like, don’t like, give him some suggestions.  Don’t necessarily pick ONE out, but if you really like a certain one, tell him.  My Maid/Matron of Honor did this with her Fiance and she didn’t know what the exact ring she was going to get was going to be, but it was exactly what she wanted.

Good luck!

Post # 15
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’m with your boyfrind on this one.  I don’t understand the appeal of a surprise proposal – never have, never will.  If there’s one thing in life I don’t want to be surprised by, it’s someone asking me to marry him.

We picked out the ring together, he went back by himself and purchased, then when it came in we went and picked it up.  We made dinner reservations at a swanky restaurant, got all dressed up, and he proposed at dinner over a glass of champagne.

It was perfect.  The fact that I knew exactly what was happening every step of the way was awesome.  There is no way he would have waited more than a few hours to give me the ring – if someone WANTS to get engaged, why would they wait?

Post # 16
198 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

My SO was the opposite. We went ring shopping together, and I was there when he signed the papers and I was there when he picked it up. That was about a week and a half ago and I’m now going crazy wondering when he will ask. He already got it insured and is doing app independent appraisal on Thursday so that we can increase the insurance if necessary. I’d be happy getting it tonight.

Anyway my advice is to Just let him know that you want to be formally asked.

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